What´s on the plate
Overview of this campaign
During spring and summer of 2017 the worst famine disaster since World War II broke out. Every three minutes, a child dies, and20 million people are affected in East Africa and Yemen, according to the UN. Famine occurs beyond the usual media searchlight, lacking the inherent drama of war. Instead, the nature of famine is slow and quiet. In Sweden, this story, one of the most important of our times, has largely been reported in telegram format.
Magnus Wennman, praised worldwide for his innovative photo journalism, and Erik Wiman decided to try and break through the silence. They devoted three months’ work to traveling to the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible countries, Somalia and South Sudan. With their considerable experience of reporting from wars and natural disasters, they understood that a new narrative technique would be needed to successfully convey their experiences. With a new narrative style – and a simple question – Aftonbladet´s Magnus Wennman and Erik Wiman wanted to break the silence: what does one eat without food?
With image, text, video and VR-TV in Swedish and English, the disaster was depicted in a whole new way – touching and reaching through to the audience.
On the same date that Aftonbladet published What’s on the plate? – What the children have to eat, an exhibition with the same name opened at Fotografiska, the museum of photography in Stockholm. As a result, news journalism found an additional and effective publication format. In connection with the publication in all Aftonbladet channels and the exhibition at Fotografiska, the children’s organization Save the Children, which operates amidst the famine catastrophe, started an international fundraising campaign.
Results for this campaign
The digital storytelling editing team created a format based on Magnus Wennman’s pictures, where each image became the way into a separate story – jarring and subtle in its form, all at the same time. With their own text and images, Erik Wiman and Magnus Wennman took the viewer to some of the most vulnerable and ravished places on earth.
As a further development of “Where the Children Sleep”,Magnus Wennman’s world-famous photo project about the children of the war in Syria in 2015, a unique VR effort was tried for the first time. The exhibition at Fotografiska consisted of images and texts in an internationally one-of-a-kind installation based on the 360-degree movie “The Rat Hunter”. In a cylinder-shaped room consisting of hundreds of monitors, the film was projected on the walls, entailing a huge technical challenge. Unlike watching the movie with VR glasses, the experience at Fotografiska could be shared with others in the VR cylinder. Together, visitors were taken one step closer to the South Sudan disaster.
The initiative was presented to readers and museum visitors jointly by the Editor-in-Chief of Aftonbladet, the CEO of Fotografiska and the Secretary General of Save the Children Sweden: Once you have met the children in our shared story, we believe you will know you can make a difference and will choose to contribute to the vital efforts of Save the Children Sweden.
The reportage has been seen by 391,000 visitors, with 600,000 page views.
Between July 7 and August 13, the exhibition “What’s on the Plate” was seen by about 1,000 people a day. Save the Children began an international fundraising campaign, which raised SEK 2.9 million.